Phi Beta Cons

The Entitlement Mentality on Full Display

Yesterday’s Washington Post carried this op-ed by a student who pleads that she simply MUST have more government subsidies so she can pursue the grad school program of her choice.
Cato’s Neal McCluskey does a thorough demolition job
here.
One interesting assertion made by the author of the op-ed is that credential inflation has reached the point where “It’s almost necessary to have a graduate, doctorate, or law degree to compete with the current highly qualified pool of candidates.” I think that’s a piece of wild hyperbole (which characterizes the whole article), but if we took her advice and subsidized everyone’s graduate school desires, we would soon find that credential inflation would ratchet up another notch. As David Labaree wrote in “
How to Succeed in School Without Really Learning,” “The difficulty posted by (the glut of graduates) is not that the population becomes overeducated…but that it becomes overcredentialed, as people pursue diplomas less for the knowledge they are thereby acquiring than for the access that the diplomas themselves provide. The result is a spiral of credential inflation, for as each level of education in turn gradually floods with a crowd of ambitious consumers, individuals have to keep seeking ever higher levels of credentials in order to move a step ahead of the pack. In such a system, nobody wins.”
Governmental subsidies for higher education were a bad idea to begin with and we are now seeing the results in the clamor for universal college and beyond. The only winners are those who work in the education-credential business.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

Most Popular

World

China’s Pandemic Deception

You’ve made it to December in our annus horribilis. On the menu today: sorting through CNN’s fascinating but not completely illuminating bombshell involving leaked documents from the Hubei, China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, filling in some details about the early days of the pandemic. More ... Read More
World

China’s Pandemic Deception

You’ve made it to December in our annus horribilis. On the menu today: sorting through CNN’s fascinating but not completely illuminating bombshell involving leaked documents from the Hubei, China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, filling in some details about the early days of the pandemic. More ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Cinderella Man 2

Welcome to “The Tuesday,” a weekly newsletter about politics, language, culture, and, this week, film criticism. To subscribe to “The Tuesday” and receive it in your inbox as God and John Wayne intended, please follow this link. The Mona Lisa of Hillbilly Literature The Ron Howard film Hillbilly Elegy, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Cinderella Man 2

Welcome to “The Tuesday,” a weekly newsletter about politics, language, culture, and, this week, film criticism. To subscribe to “The Tuesday” and receive it in your inbox as God and John Wayne intended, please follow this link. The Mona Lisa of Hillbilly Literature The Ron Howard film Hillbilly Elegy, ... Read More
Culture

Our Real Systemic Problem

America’s got a problem that’s systemic in nature. This problem has less to do with individual intentions than the structure within which our intentions are formed. That structure explains a great deal about observed disparities in wealth, and other advantages, between various racial and ethnic groups. It ... Read More
Culture

Our Real Systemic Problem

America’s got a problem that’s systemic in nature. This problem has less to do with individual intentions than the structure within which our intentions are formed. That structure explains a great deal about observed disparities in wealth, and other advantages, between various racial and ethnic groups. It ... Read More